Posts Tagged ‘Lifepac’

The Importance of Homeschool Record Keeping

Homeschool Record Keeping

Homeschool Record Keeping

It’s every homeschooler’s nightmare. A local school district official knocks on the door and asks to see your homeschool record keeping. However, after a brief moment of panic, the realization dawns that this isn’t a nightmare after all. You’ve done your homework and are prepared for such a visit. After spending a few minutes looking over your records, the impressed official heads for the door, satisfied you are in compliance with the law.

It rarely happens, but what if it would happen to you? Would you be prepared? Record keeping is a critically important part of a homeschooling parent’s job. However, the importance of homeschool record keeping goes way beyond being prepared for an unexpected visit from a school official.


Why is record keeping so important? The documentation of your children’s Christian homeschool education can serve many purposes beyond simply proving compliance with the law. Children applying for scholarships or other honors may need school records in order to satisfy eligibility requirements. The college application and admission process depends heavily on the existence of detailed homeschool record keeping. In addition, a child entering or re-entering a public or private school can be placed more easily and appropriately if adequate records have been kept. Homeschool records also help provide the opportunity for personal and/or professional evaluation of student progress and planning for future academic pursuits. Finally, some families may elect to keep records for nostalgic reasons or for the purpose of providing a way to showcase a child’s homeschool experience for family and friends.

Still, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Since no two homeschool experiences are the same, it’s impossible to design a record keeping plan that works for every family. This guide is intended to provide the information you need to assist you in developing a record keeping system that meet your specific needs.

Who and When?

Whether you’re a first-time home educator or a veteran who has never made homeschool record keeping a
priority, every homeschooler should start keeping detailed records now! While you may never need to use some of what you collect, the benefit of having comprehensive records far outweighs the time invested to create them. Besides, it doesn’t require much time in the first place? While the time required will vary from family to family, most homeschoolers must invest relatively little time in order to create and maintain a well-designed record keeping system.


Now that you’ve decided you should keep records of your family’s homeschool, what should you maintain? The
answer to this question is determined to a large extent by the consideration of several important factors

  • Where do you live?
  • With what laws must you comply?
  • How old is your child?
  • Will your child be entering a public or private school in the future?
  • Is your child college-bound?

Where you live plays a significant role in answering the question of “what,” In the United States, state laws
govern the education of all children, including children who are schooled at home. Since failure to comply with
the laws of your state can result in the loss of your right to homeschool, knowing and understanding your state’s laws is vitally important in determining what records you need to keep for your children. An online search for your state’s homeschool laws can help you determine records you are required to keep.

Another important factor to consider when determining what records to keep is the age of your children. While it is strongly recommended to keep records for all children, it is especially important to keep meticulous records for high school aged children. These records can significantly impact the college and/or job application process of your teenage child. In addition, if it’s likely your children will eventually be placed in a public or private school, detailed records will make the transfer process much easier, potentially eliminating the need for extensive placement testing.

Though some families have very few requirements to satisfy, they still choose to keep records of their children’s homeschool experience solely for personal and/or sentimental reasons. So, even if all you want to do is show off your child’s academic abilities to family and friends, homeschool record keeping is a great idea!


There are as many different ways to keep homeschool records as there are reasons to keep them! Exactly how you keep your student records should be determined by many of the same factors considered above and may change as your homeschool journey progresses. Factors like location, age of children, academic goals, and others also affect how you should keep your records.

While there are many possible record keeping methods, one of the most effective and efficient ways to compile academic records for children of all ages is to create a portfolio, a collection of documentation intended to demonstrate a homeschool child’s academic progress. The contents of a homeschool portfolio will vary from family to family according to specific legal requirements, as well as personal preference. However, a comprehensive portfolio always contains some variation of many of the following items:

• Student data page: General student information, such as name, birth date, address, etc.
• Medical records required by law, such as immunizations
• Documentation of compliance with state requirements that may or may not include the following items:

– List of specific goals and objectives for each academic subject
– Documentation of communication with local school district officials
– List of educational materials utilized, including author and publishing information for all books,
curriculum, DVDs/videos, and software
– Sampling of student work in all subject areas, particularly those required by law like math and
science: Samples should be representative of both type (workbook pages, written compositions,
quizzes, and tests) and quality of work completed by the student.
– Documentation of required and/or voluntary assessment: Assessment can be measured and reported
through a variety of means, including report cards, standardized testing, professional evaluations,
grade reports, and transcripts.

• Report of extracurricular activities, such as field trips, homeschool group or church activities, sports, music, drama, etc. These can be presented in journal format and may include photographs and student assignments specific to the activity.
• Documentation of special awards, honors, accomplishments, and achievements earned.

A portfolio can be compiled completely from scratch or can be created using packaged record keeping programs available in a variety of formats. Electronic curriculum options, such as online or computer-based curriculum can provide easy access to much of the documentation needed to put together a complete record of your children’s home education.

So, why are you waiting? Wherever you are on your homeschool journey, don’t wait for a knock on the door to begin your homeschool record keeping. Start creating a record of your children’s homeschool experience today!

Record keeping is a critically important part of a homeschooling parent’s job. However, the importance of
homeschool record keeping goes way beyond being prepared for an unexpected visit from a school official.
Wherever you are on your homeschool journey, learn how you can begin your homeschool record keeping and start creating a record of your children’s homeschool experience today!

Source: Alpha Omega Publications

Getting Started Homeschooling

Getting Started Homeschooling

Getting Started Homeschooling

Know Your State Law

  • Homeschooling is legal in every state in the United States.
  • Obtain information about your state home schooling law.
  • One source is to contact your local school district who can provide a packet of information concerning home schooling, including a synoptic paragraph about legal requirements. Inquiries can be made with no strings attached.
  • Another source of information is to contact your state home school organization which also can provide information about home schooling in your state. Other home schoolers can provide you with the proper telephone number.
  • In addition, those interested in home schooling can contact Home School Legal Defense Association, a national home school legal organization. They can provide information regarding legal requirements as well as membership into their organization.
  • All of these suggestions are made as points of reference and are not necessarily considered to be endorsements.
  • Learn more about your state’s homeschooling laws:

Obtain Homeschool Curriculum

  • Most states expect you to obtain a reliable curriculum, although some states have the authority to approve or disapprove your choice.
  • Many states expect you to teach the academic disciplines such as spelling, handwriting, English, reading, math, science, and history.
  • Most state home school organizations hold curriculum fairs during spring or summer.
  • You should purchase basic curriculum first and then add extras such as charts, globes, maps, science kits, manipulatives, and flash cards.
  • You should look for a curriculum with daily lesson plans that take the guesswork out of what you need to teach your child on his grade level.
  • You should purchase curriculum early (possibly 2-3 months before teaching) in order to become familiar with the format and to prepare lesson plans.
  • Christian vs. secular textbooks (

Set Up Your Home School

Begin Keeping Records

  • Many states require a record-keeping system.
  • Store records in a filing system by school year and child.
  • Store samples of your student’s work as well as standardized test results.

Organize Your Time

  • Develop a school schedule based on the number of days your state requires.
  • Consider a year-round schedule vs. a nine-month schedule as well as a daily schedule.
  • Include long-term projects, seasonal activities, ministries, holidays, and vacations in your schedule.
  • Develop a teaching plan based on the number of children you have.

Prepare Lesson Plans

  • Plan at least one week’s lessons ahead of time, gathering materials for lessons, collecting resources for lessons, preparing visuals, etc.
  • Use a daily lesson plan book for lesson number and pages, activities, and student textbook and workbook pages.
  • Review the evening before to refresh your memory and to put materials in place for the next day.

Find a Support Group

  • Attend several meetings to become acquainted with the group and its purposes.
  • Assess group goals and standards to be sure they are in keeping with those you want and have for your family.
  • Inquire of the group or other homeschoolers about how to obtain good magazines and helpful newsletters.
  • Join helpful homeschool specific social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs to help you discuss your needs and concerns with other homeschoolers

ABCs of the Best Homeschool Curriculum

Alpha Omega Publications

Alpha Omega Publications

Wondering what’s the best homeschool curriculum Christian parents can use to successfully educate their
child? If you’re like most homeschool parents, you probably spend countless hours researching different
products to find the perfect resource to improve your homeschooling experience. Although quality, Christian

homeschool materials do provide excellent academic learning opportunities, you may be surprised to learn the best homeschool curriculum is actually YOU! That’s right! Like a living, 3-D textbook, your life is constantly on display and “read” daily by your child. Therefore, with such a great responsibility to influence your child’s education, what attitudes and actions should be consistently shown in your life as a Christian homeschooling parent? Consider the following ABCs to successful homeschooling:

AAttentive. Be sensitive to your child’s “learning edge” and customize your curriculum to meet his interests.
Use the benefits of one-on-one interaction to make the most of your teaching time.

BBrave. Be ready to face the challenges from those who question your decision to homeschool. Going
against the educational flow will require strength of character to “speak the truth in love.”

CChrist-like. With Jesus Christ at the center of your homeschool, let the Holy Spirit guide you through the
work that lies ahead in teaching your children.

D – Disciplined. Be willing to submit to God’s authority and live in obedience to His Word.

E – Enthusiastic. Love learning yourself and your children will love to learn, too.

F – Friendly. No man is an island. Develop relationships with other homeschooling families. Not only will
your children appreciate the social interaction, but you will also enjoy the encouragement from other home
school parents.

G – Grateful. Teaching your children is a privilege. Be thankful with a humble spirit.

H – Hardworking. Determine to complete the endless, daily tasks of maintaining a home and homeschooling
your children.

I – Ingenious. Creative thinking is a must to keep learning fun and inspirational.

J – Jolly. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Have fun when you’re teaching and
learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes.

K – Kind. Let your speech and actions show the tender love of Christ. After all, it takes just as much energy to
say and do something nice as it does to do something mean.
ABCs of the Best Homeschool Curriculum
© MMVI Alpha Omega Publications, Inc.
804 N. 2nd Ave. E., Rock Rapids, IA 51246-1759 • 1.800.622.3070 •
L – Long-suffering. Homeschooling is a life-long adventure with lasting benefits. It’s always too early to quit!

M – Mushy. When it comes to homeschooling children, sincere words of appreciation, hugs, and kisses are
always a good idea.

N – Neat. As much as possible, keep your home clean and tidy.

O – Organized. Keep up with lesson plans, grading, and transcripts to meet state requirements.

P – Professional. Since homeschooling is God’s job for you, work to the best of your ability and don’t let a
half-hearted approach ruin your homeschooling day.

Q – Quiet. Your calm spirit provides the peaceful learning environment your children need to learn best.

R – Respectful. Never make fun of your children. Remember that every question is a good question, no matter
how many you answer each day.

S – Smiley. Let God’s love be reflected in a happy face. Smiles are contagious.

T – Teachable. Teachers never know it all, so keep learning right along with your children.

U – Unselfish. Share all that you have to help your children succeed. The rewards always outweigh the costs.

V – Virtuous. Be a truthful homeschooling parent who displays integrity in thought, word, and deed. Mean
what you say and do what you promise.

W – Worshipful. Show your children how to come before a holy God as you sing and give praise for the many
blessings in your life.

X – EXemplary – Since children learn best by example, you are the best homeschool curriculum they’ll
ever have!

Y – Youthful. Stay young at heart and never grow too old to play with your children.

Z – Zealous. Protect your homeschooling rights. Defend the cause by keeping informed and getting involved in
your state’s political process.

Through March 26, 2010, save an extra 17% off our already low prices on any Alpha Omega products including LIFEPAC, Switched on Schoolhouse, Horizons and Weaver brands!

Source: Alpha Omega Publications, Inc. Whitepapers

Homeschooling Is A Lifestyle

Homeschooling Children

Homeschooling Children

As parents we are homeschooling our children from the day they are born. We start out teaching our infants by talking to them, touching them, and playing with them. We continue to teach our children with these methods and also by setting an example and giving them the freedom to explore the world around them.

Adults tend to think of education in terms of lesson plans and sitting in a classroom, but our homes have been our children’s classroom from day one. The ways in which we live our lives are our children’s first lessons. If parents set the proper examples, by the time children get to be “school-aged” they know the basics of running a household, socialization, and financial management. This is when most people take their children away from their natural learning environment and put them in a classroom.

Let your lifestyle of teaching and learning (this actually goes both ways between parent and child) continue. Of course your children need to learn math, English, science, and the rest of the regular school curriculum, but the natural home and family environment is possibly the best place to do so. You were your child’s first teacher and you will remain the teacher and the greatest influence on that young mind.

The key is to integrate the lessons of an institutionalized classroom into your daily routine as you have always done for your child. Teach counting and addition/subtraction with day-to-day objects. Teach about fractions while baking some cookies. Teach math skills with price-comparison shopping. Continue to read to your child and have him create his own stories and poetry. Use family vacations as a way to teach geography and history. There are any number of ways to keep the education of your child integrated with your family’s lifestyle. Trust the instinct you have to teach your children. It is there for a reason and it will steer you in the right direction.

For quality products to help guide your child’s learning visit Nest Learning.

Source: Alpha Omega Publications

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum For Your Child

Top Ten Things to Do When Choosing Your Homeschool Curriculum

1. PRAY and ask for God’s leading. He knows the perfect curriculum for each member of your family and will guide you in your search.

2. EXAMINE the different homeschooling teaching styles. As a teacher, consider which of the following methods you would enjoy best:

• Print based – Many first-time homeschoolers enjoy the confidence of teaching with a proven, print-based curriculum. LIFEPAC® for grades K-12 is a grade-level, worktext curriculum designed by seasoned educators. It covers the general subject areas of math, science, history & geography, language, and Bible, plus a variety of electives. LIFEPAC is based on the principal of mastery learning, and teachers use consumable worktexts, drill and memorization, practice problems, review, testing, and grading to instill academic concepts in their student. For more information about LIFEPAC, visit

Another print-based option for homeschoolers is Horizons. The Horizons curriculum is language arts and math courses for students in grades K-6. Using a method called spiral learning, students using Horizons will move through each concept in a process of introduction, review and reinforcement. Students enjoy each colorfully illustrated lesson and parents benefit from detailed Teacher’s Guides and a precise structure that diminishes prep time. It’s a smooth, fast, and very effective curriculum. For more information about Horizons, visit

• Computer based – Teachers use technology and time-saving features found in the CD-ROM based Switched-On Schoolhouse® (SOS) curriculum to instruct students in grades 3-12. Homeschoolers can add their own touch and easily customize lesson plans with this interactive, multimedia curriculum that covers five core subjects and a variety of electives. Grading, record keeping, and daily lesson planning are also automated with the administrative tools for teachers found in the curriculum. For more information about SOS, visit

• Unit studies – Teachers focus on a particular topic or time period with age-appropriate activities for students in the main subject areas. This method requires intensive teacher preparation, but teachers and students alike enjoy the active hands-on learning. The Weaver Curriculum® from AOP is an excellent curriculum that is based on the unit study approach. For more information about Weaver, visit

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